Hoofin’ It to Boston for Natick Community Organic Farm’s Teen Programs

Cynthia Whitty
Kate Neville and her family
Issue Date: 
April, 2018
Article Body: 

Natick Community Organic Farm’s (NCOF) three 2018 Boston Marathoners are Hoofin’ It to Boston this year to help raise wages for the teens on NCOF’s Teen Work Crew (TWC) and in its Mentoring Teens through Agriculture Apprenticeship.
NCOF’s Teen Work Crew provides paid, meaningful summer employment to local teens ages 14 to 17. Crew members tackle “big farm jobs,” like mowing, carpentry, fencing and splitting wood. In the process, they hone their ability to take direction and responsibility for their work. To be chosen for TWC, teens must submit a written application and attend a working try-out. It is a competitive process, and an honor to be chosen.
NCOF’s Mentoring Teens through Agriculture is a paid, year-round apprenticeship offering comprehensive mentorship, skill development, and job training for local teens aged 14 to 17. Through weekly, year-round farm work, Apprentices develop an extensive understanding of how farms operate while developing leadership, teamwork, project planning and problem solving skills. Apprentices are hand-picked by farm staff for their dedication, initiative and leadership skills. Many Apprentices go on to paid employment in agriculture.
NCOF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, certified-organic, working farm providing productive open space, farm products and hands-on education to people of all ages-year round. It is located on 27 acres which have been continuously farmed since 1651, and was conserved by the Town of Natick in 2009. NCOF is open every day during daylight hours with no admission fee for visits and purchases. Visitors are welcome all year to see the livestock, walk the fields, purchase fresh, local, sustainably grown food in season, and to actively participate in real farm work.
Meet three 2018 Charity Boston Marathon Runners, who are raising money for NCOF’s teen programs:
Lives in Natick. From Taunton. Works in tech support at Weston Middle School.
What you do for fun:  Run, Trail Run, Kayak, Swim, Knit, Read, go to concerts, sing really loud in my car, Post my pug’s pics to Instagram.
Family (by birth or by choice, human or furry): Husband: Eric.   Two sons, Michael (12.5) and Andrew (8).   Gus the Wonder Pug.
Running experiences:   Runner since 2011; 8 half marathons, including 1 Trail half.  5ks, 10ks, and mud/obstacle runs.  This will be my first marathon.
My favorite run ever was:   Trail run along Mt. Wapack and the Mid State Trail.  12 miles of icy trails and scenic mountain views.
What you are most excited about by running in this year’s Marathon: Turning 40 in March, and running Boston was once a “holy crap, never could I ever!” type thing.  And now I’m all, “holy smokes, I think I can!”   And guess what? I can.  And I will!  What you are not so excited about about this year’s Marathon:   I just hope it’s not hot. Rain, I can deal. Heat, I cannot.  
Why you are running for NCOF:   We are so lucky to have this farm in Natick. I have brought my boys there for years to visit the goats, bunnies, turkeys, pigs, etc. The farm stand is a lovely place to shop. I want to be able to give back to a place that made my kids (and me) happy for so many years.
Support Kate by donating to her Crowdrise page: www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/hoofin-it-to-boston-in-2018/katherinenev.... Her goal is to raise $4,000.
Lives in Waltham. From Farmington, NY. Works in product management & marketing, Atlantis Technology, Concord, MA.
What you do for fun: Run, Watch Hockey, Gaming, Volunteer and a little bit of parenting. :)
Family (by birth or by choice, human or furry): Amy (Wife), Ronald and Conor (Sons), Rask (a.k.a. the BOK ‘Big Orange Kitty’) and Cheddar (Cats), Archie (Da Fish)
Running experiences: My favorite run ever was: The Boilermaker Road Race.
What you are most excited about by running in this year’s Marathon: Not being all jittery watching everyone run by me while I watch!
What you are not so excited about about this year’s Marathon: Slush Runs!
Why you are running for NCOF: It’s a wonderful community organization, with great people, that I know is going to make the most of every dollar we can raise for them. Many people I know have been touched by NCOF in some way, whether it’s as a teen working there, as a teacher bringing a class, or a child just visiting.
Anything else that you’d like to add: Let’s do this thing! :) 
Support Ron by donating to his Crowdrise page: www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/hoofin-it-to-boston-in-2018/ronayers
Lives and is from Franklin. Preschool teacher.
What you do for fun: Run (obviously), have dance offs with my kiddos, laugh at everything, go on adventures.
Family (by birth or by choice, human or furry): I’m a mom to four amazing little humans, Adelle (10), Grace (9), Nolan (6), Wes (4), and I have a boyfriend who is an amazing fan; his name is Ronny.
Running experiences: I have run many races, sometimes I feel the race is more in the training and the race is just showing off all the work—but here’s my brag book . . . marathons- Boston 2016, Baystate Lowell 2016, Hyannis 2017 (as a relay team) The Pocono mountain marathon 2017, (who thinks a mountain is a good choice), And I’ve run dozens of half’s but a few include Nashville, Gansette, Run to remember (run this annually), Mayflower. Every year I run Falmouth which is hands down my favorite Summer race, and I’m so fortunate to be a huge part of the Sharon Timlon race to cure ALS which is a local 5k that I have done for over 10 years now. So those are a few... but I’ve also done a few trails and mud runs too!
My favorite run ever was: Falmouth is a favorite, but there is not a single race that can compare to the Boston Marathon. I trained my tail off for my first marathon- went in thinking it was a crazy idea on a bucket list and finished it with my worst marathon time ever, I woke the Friday before the Monday marathon knowing I was coming down with “something.” As the weekend continued, it got worst and by the marathon I ran Boston with 104.5 fever, and finished it. I went straight to bed after sick as a dog but that crazy pride of knowing I finished. Went to hospital next day tested positive for the flu, didn’t get out of bed for a week, lol. However, the crowd carried me the entire way and I’d have done it all over again given the chance. Here I am 2018 begging for redemption. A chance to meet Boston again ... oh, I can’t wait!
What you are most excited about by running in this year’s Marathon: The turn in Wellesley when you hear what sounds like thunder and for a minute you wonder if the rain will start and then you see them. The girls of Wellesley College. The screams and cheers are infectious. 
What you are not so excited about this year’s Marathon: Praying weather is perfect not sleet and snow, prefer no pouring rain . . . ya know a miracle in New England, ha!
Why you are running for NCOF: I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to run for a great farm. I try to teach my own children about healthy foods, healthy bodies and a lot about farm to table. Sometimes my daughter makes fun of how health cautious I can be, but I love the idea of teaching children that veggies are cool!! So it only seems fitting to run for NCOF.
Support Sam by donating to her Crowdrise page: www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/hoofin-it-to-boston-in-2018/samanthamcla.... Her goal is to raise $4,000.